The Good: Absolutely adorable, Plush, Educational
The Bad: Low playability, Novelty wears off quickly.
The Basics: Cute and educational, the Bad Breath Giant Microbe is a novelty plush that does little else.
Last year, on my annual trip to Las Vegas with my partner, I came down with some weird throat infection that was painful and a little embarrassing (it made my breath pretty rank). This led me to purchase some Listerine and when we arrived at the Star Trek convention we were working at, it led my partner to seriously consider one of the nearby vendors. One of our fellow dealers was selling the new Giant Microbe plush toys. So, when my partner got a few bucks from me, she returned with a little something to make me feel better: the plush Bad Breath Giant Microbe.
As trendy as these toys currently are, it melted me heart a bit because she wanted me to feel less self-conscious. And the more I see this little guy around our house (now), the cuter the concept is and the more I enjoy it.
Giant Microbes are plush toys based on exactly what their name suggests: microscopic organisms or tissues. These stuffed toys are designed to look cute and have an educational tag that details exactly what the microbe the toy is based upon does and how it looks. In the case of the Bad Breath (Halitosis) Giant Microbes toy, this is a little green furry block with two hard plastic eyes embedded in it. It looks virtually identical to the picture of a Halitosis microbe pictured on the tag, both in shape and coloring.
The blockish stuffed toy is four and a half inches wide, three and a quarter inches tall and just under three inches deep. The toy has little wavy stubs (like tiny pseudopods) at the top and bottom of the "face" and "back." The two plastic eyes on the front are all that adorn this toy and it makes the Bad Breath microbe look cute and cuddly.
Bad Breath as a Giant Microbes toy is composed primarily of polyester fibers.
Bad Breath, essentially being a little stuffed block, does not have much that it could be accessorized with. Instead, it has a cardboard tag that tells the buyer all about Halitosis, how it is nourished and what the effects of having it in one's mouth and throat are. It details the nature of the sulfurous compounds secreted by Halitosis to cause bad breath and it also describes how the microbe may be thwarted. The tag is actually quite educational and may be a wonderful resource for young children as it uses very simple and direct language (the toy itself is recommended for children three and above).
Bad Breath is not the most interesting toy for play. In fact, because it is based on a microbe that is a million times smaller than this plush toy, one might argue that these are a poor choice for play. Lacking any appendages or orifices, there is not much one may do with Bad Breath other than sit it up (it is very stable when laid flat) and let it stare at you. I suppose it can be thrown around, if one removes the tag. But largely, this is just a decorative toy for the novelty and the novelty wears thin pretty quickly.
Giant Microbes toys are a current fad and because they have some educational value, I suspect they will grow in popularity. Bad Breath seems to be fairly common, so this is probably more of a novelty/fun toy as opposed to an investment piece. In fact, at the convention, Halitosis was one of the few Giant Microbes that was not selling out. It's almost possible to feel bad for the microbe as a result!
Bad Breath is cute, but not much more. It sits, educates those who read its tag and it would be easy to pass by. However, I love my Bad Breath because my partner bought it and the thought behind it was so cute. And for a toy that doesn't do much other than remind us of love, what more may be said?
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© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.